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Last Updated: Monday, 13 December, 2004, 15:35 GMT
Davies secures Gloucester switch
Mefin Davies has scored tries in the last two Wales games
Davies will be at Kingsholm until the end of the season
Mefin Davies has completed his move to English Premiership side Gloucester.

The Wales hooker, 32, has agreed a contract to play for the Kingsholm club until the end of the season.

But Davies, who failed to win a deal with a Welsh region this season, will be ineligible to play in Europe having already turned out for the Ospreys.

Gloucester have hookers Olivier Azam (shoulder) and Chris Fortey (ankle) out until the new year with long-term injuries.

Davies was left in the professional wilderness with Wales following the disbandment of the Celtic Warriors at the end of last season.

Coming here will only help my international career
Mefin Davies
He was offered a move to crack French outfit Stade Francais, but turned it down as it would have meant sacrificing his international career.

He has since been working part-time whilst playing for Welsh semi-professional side Neath.

"It's been a tough summer after my last professional club the Warriors disbanded," Davies told the BBC.

"I can't wait for my new start with Gloucester, it's a new challenge and a new environment.

"It's always great to ask questions of yourself, to move on and play on the edge - when these opportunities come you have to grasp them with both hands.

"Coming here will only help my international career, I've seen the intensity of Zurich Premiership games on television."

With Robin McBryde injured, Davies re-established himself as Wales' first-choice hooker in the autumn with tries against New Zealand and Japan.

It's a great move for him and I'm absolutely positive it will lead into something much better in the future
Davies' agent Peter Underhill
The Japan match took his number of Wales caps to 24, but national coach Mike Ruddock admitted that playing semi-professional rugby was affecting Davies' chances of adding to that tally.

Davies had been unable to force himself into the Ospreys regional side ahead of Barry Williams and Huw Bennett, whilst McBryde's return from injury has increased competition for the Wales spot.

Gloucester's fit hookers at present are 23-year-old James Parkes and 21-year-old Rob Elloway, and Davies' agent Peter Underhill thinks he has a chance of securing a longer-term deal at the English club.

"Gloucester are very interested in a long-term contract with him but want to have a look at him first," Underhill told BBC Wales Sport.

"We'd like to thank Neath for their support, but his is a step up for him. He wants to get back into a long-term contract.

"So it's an extremely important move and he's very happy. It's a great move for him and I'm absolutely positive it will lead into something much better in the future."




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